Get 2022 off to a great start by learning something new and having fun while exploring the richness of traditional Irish music, song, and dance at Siamsa Tíre this January
2020 was a tough year. 2021 wasn’t much better. Now that we’re in 2022, many of us are trying to think of ways to make the year ahead a happier one.
Some are considering improving their health and fitness. Others are contemplating taking up new hobbies. What they might not realise is that you can do all of the above while also learning more about Irish traditional dance, song, and music with a range of online and in-person classes starting at Siamsa Tíre at the end of January.
As the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, Siamsa Tíre’s purpose has always been to share and sustain the tradition, passing it on from one generation to the next, just like the travelling music and dance masters of old used to do.
That’s what it has done in Tralee for more than half a century. Young people from all over Kerry have auditioned to join the National Folk Training Academy in order to attend weekly lessons in music, song, and dance with this generation’s masters of tradition.
These masters are now bringing these classes to the wider world, offering them to people of all ages and levels of experience.
In-person classes will be held at the theatre in Tralee, with classes for both adults and children on offer. For those who can’t travel to Tralee, there will also be online classes for children and adults available on demand so that you can learn at a time and place that suits you.
These classes will be taught by four of Siamsa Tíre’s professional performers. Artistic Director and Munnix Dance Master Jonathan Kelliher will teach dance. Jonathan comes from a long line of North Kerry Dance Masters. He started dancing at the age of six, joined Siamsa Tíre aged eight, and has since become known as one of the best exponents of the North Kerry style in Ireland.
Siamsa Tíre’s Musical Director Tom Hanafin will teach music. Tom is a musician and composer who joined Siamsa Tíre’s community cast in 1986, playing accordion, flute, and whistles. Since then, he has composed many of the company’s most recognised musical pieces.
Singing will be taught by Repertory Director Joanne Barry and Choral Director Martina Ryan Murphy. Joanne has been involved with Siamsa Tíre since she was a child, training in Finuge before joining the community cast and then becoming a member of the full-time company. Martina started out as a sean nós singer at the age of six, started studying classical singing under Irish soprano Margaret O’Carroll aged 12, and is now best known as a prize-winning solo performer and choir member as well as a founder member of the Kerry Choral Union.
These four professional performers learned from the traditional masters who went before them and are now eager to share their wealth of knowledge with a wider audience throughout Kerry, Ireland, and the world. It doesn’t matter what age you are or how much or how little you know about Irish traditional songs, music, and dance, they will welcome you to their classes.
So why not start 2022 by immersing yourself in the world of Irish traditional culture and have fun singing, dancing, and making music in the process? These classes start at the end of January. Visit our online booking site for more information or to book your place.